OHS regulations dictate that some professionals must use a speaker mic (Park Wardens being one example). We find that mainly it's professional guides and S&R professionals that order speaker mics with their radios, no questions asked. They make it much easier to use around helicopters or to communicate without taking your pack off, or fishing the radio out of your inner pocket. While novice or recreational AT skiers do not normally need one, if you communicate with another group or tail gunner in your group on a regular basis, you will appreciate what they do even if the radio is not something you use 9 to 5. We've made an interesting observation over the years: you're on an uptrack that is sweet, you're thinking, "this guy really knows this terrain". Then by chance you encounter the person that made the track, and there's always speaker mic attached to his shoulder strap. Interesting that. You may also find it hard to dig a radio out of your pack if you've just been buried to your neck in avalanche debris. Do not under-estimate the function of a speaker mic, while it might be yet another inconvenience to clutter your pack bling, it's not just about us making an up-sale pitch, or you making a fashion statement withal.
Medium Duty Moisture Resistant Speaker Microphone :
This Mic is the best we could find that fit criteria for price, weight, size, and durability. It is moisture resistant. It is made by TYT. Total weight of Mic is 138g. The Mic cord is 2' long and extends to 3.5'. The connector is a standard Kenwood compatible fit that will work with most Wouxun, Baofeng, Anytone, TYT, etc. The Mic head dimensions are 2 1/4 x 3", it has an earpiece plug on the side, and a belt/lapel clip on the back that rotates 360 degrees on a metal hub that is mounted on a metal base plate.
This Mic is not indestructable! How do we know this? A certain eldest son got one in his Christmas stocking along with a TYT TC-100 which he uses instead of a bubble pack radio. After he did the jump in the video below, he came back and complained his Mic blew apart (turns out the Mic just had the cord ripped out of it, but his radio survived):
(This failure was the result of too much power being applied on the ramp. He was OK, just had the wind knocked out of him, the sled had a bent ski. I fixed his Mic to compensate for years of poor parenting skills.)
The microphone can be purchased with an optional hi-vis ripstop nylon cover as seen in the picture above, for an additional $13.95 USD. This specialist cover was designed by Jordy Shepherd of Peak Alpine, in collaboration with Zac's Tracs. It's purpose is to increase water resistance by keeping snow out of the recesses, which also means it will repel water, coffee, frost, condensation, mud, dust, and dirt as well as mitigate wind noise. It works by garroting a shock cord drawstring around the front of the Mic, which is then held closed by a round spring loaded cordloc
Listen only model. 3.5mm connector. Plugs into the speaker mic for monitoring audio in noisy environments, while wearing helmet, or for privacy. Note: with this style of earpiece, the hollow acoustic tube requires regular cleaning by soaking the tube in warm soapy water, and then blowing out with compressed air every couple of weeks. Note that condensation adversely affects performance and audio levels, so when operating in field environments that promote condensation in the feeder tube, the tube may have to be purged from time to time.
Hands-Free Helmet Kit: $19.95 USD
Suitable for mounting in a Sled or Bike helmet.